(CONSUMER REPORTS/WTVF) — When people lose their hearing, they miss out on a lot of what's going on around them. But studies show that hearing aids may help reduce those side effects, helping not only those suffering from hearing loss but their families, too.
“A recent study from the University of Michigan has found that using hearing aids is associated with a reduced risk of dementia and other problems,” said Catherine Roberts, Consumer Reports Health Editor.
The study found that older people who received hearing aids within three years of a hearing loss diagnosis had lower rates of dementia, depression and even falls than those who didn’t get hearing aids.
“It’s too early to say definitively whether using hearing aids can reduce your risk of cognitive decline. But using them can help improve how you understand and respond to other people,” Roberts said.
Common hearing loss red flags include turning up the volume on your TV, frequently asking people to repeat themselves, or missing parts of phone conversations.
CR recommends immediately seeking professional help if you experience any hearing loss. The problem could be fixable like an infection, earwax buildup, or a damaged eardrum. And if it turns out you do need a hearing aid, an audiologist can help sort through what will work best for you.
If you’re worried about how hearing aids look, keep in mind those clunky beige ones that you probably think of when you think of hearing aids, are not your only option anymore. Now there are much smaller hearing aids that even come in all sorts of colors. And with so many people wearing wireless earphones, no one will probably even give your hearing aids a second look.